When you walk it is important that you maintain good posture. Posture means the way you carry your body. Your posture affects your whole body, your digestion, blood circulation and breathing. Good posture should be maintained regardless of where you are walking whether it is in the house, at work, in the open air or on a treadmill.
Good posture simply means keeping your body in alignment by having a straight back, squared shoulders, chin up, chest out, stomach and buttocks in.
It is easy to check your posture. Stand in front of a full length mirror. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold your head up straight and look straight in front of you. Your ear, shoulder and ankle should be in a straight line. You should not be either slumping forward or reclining back. Leaning or slumping puts strain on the back muscles. Your chin should be parallel to the ground. This will reduce strain on neck and back. Your shoulders should be relaxed and slightly back, opening out your chest. This will enhance your breathing and allow you to take in more air.
Another way to check your posture is to stand with your heels two to four inches away from a wall. Your head and buttocks should touch the wall and there should be just enough room between the curve of your back and the wall to insert your hand. If there is too much room tighten your abdominal muscles and this will make you stand taller. This is the correct posture you should maintain when walking.
Practise standing tall, head up and eyes focused about fifteen to twenty feet away. Do not look down at the ground. Tighten your abdominal muscles and pull in your buttocks If you find strain on your back and shoulders it may mean that you have got into the habit of bad posture. Persevere in practising good posture as often as you can during the day and in time it will become second nature to you.
Hold your arms at right angles to your elbow and swing them as you walk keeping them close to your body and not them crossing in front of you. Keep your fingers and hands relaxed not clenched or tight. Maintain a comfortable walking pace.
Check your posture as often as you think about it during the day. Maintaining a good posture will not only benefit your health, you will look younger and fitter looking.
Enjoy your walking and stand tall!